Sunday, July 01, 2007

Our Flag Was Still There

Sunny - Hi 115 Lo 87 for Baghdad, Iraq
Thunderstorms - Hi 90 Lo 75 for Qandahar, Afghanistan
Partly Cloudy - Hi 84 Lo 58 for Northern KY, USA

Song of the week: Ragged Old Flag,
Johnny Cash

You may want to go get a cup of coffee as this may turn into a long ramble....

As we approach Independence Day, I can't help but reflect on how much my love for this country has grown. Like some folks, the events of September 11, 2001 were a catalyst for me to take a stand and be counted among those willing to fight for our nation- to keep her free and to make sure she stands with her torch as a beacon for all to see.

We the people are so fortunate to have been born here, still others have come here seeking freedom and liberty and a better way of life. Lady Liberty has opened her arms to them.

The New Colossus

Not like the brazen giant of Greek fame,
With conquering limbs astride from land to land;
Here at our sea-washed, sunset gates shall stand
A mighty woman with a torch, whose flame
Is the imprisoned lightning, and her name
Mother of Exiles. From her beacon-hand
Glows world-wide welcome; her mild eyes command
The air-bridged harbor that twin cities frame.
"Keep, ancient lands, your storied pomp!" cries she
With silent lips. "Give me your tired, your poor,
Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,
The wretched refuse of your teeming shore.
Send these, the homeless, tempest-tost to me,
I lift my lamp beside the golden door!"

- Emma Lazarus

This country is clearly a melting pot- it always has been. It should always be so.
Our ancestors came to this country for various reasons - but the one common denominator has always been to seek out a better life. We the people spoke this past week and said that the Amnesty Bill was not what we wanted-- It was blogged about everywhere...It was talked about everywhere. I'm proud to say that I include myself in the numbers that flooded the phone lines and email of our Congress. They got the message - albeit they believe us to be foolish and uninformed.

Those that believe in this great nation, look to our immigrants as a blessing. Those that believe in this great nation believe it should be sought out honestly and legally. Nothing worthwhile is easy. I believe that is why some of our greatest Americans speak with a thick accent- My mother comes to mind, one of the greatest Americans I know.

We owe it to our forefathers and those that have fought and served and even died for this great nation for 231 years to stand strong. We must continue to live free or be willing to die for it. However, how do we make sure that our children, our children's children know what this great nation is about? What she stands for?

Bill Bennett wrote a compelling piece for National Review online. As the Secretary of Education under one of our greatest President's he writes with knowledge and integrity.

Tens of millions of Americans are about to celebrate our nation’s Founding. The worrisome question is, will future generations take to this celebration the way we have for the past 231 years if they do not know the first, second, or third thing about their country?

Two years ago, the Pulitzer Prize-winning historian David McCullough told the U.S. Senate that American History was our nation’s worst subject in school. The latest National Assessment of Educational Progress (a.k.a., “our Nation’s Report Card”), released last month, bears that out again. Our children do worse in American history than they do in reading or math. McCullough testified we were facing the prospect of national amnesia, saying, “Amnesia of society is just as detrimental as amnesia for the individual. We are running a terrible risk. Our very freedom depends on education, and we are failing our children in not providing that education.”

Double Tragedy
McCullough is right, and it is a double tragedy: a) our children no longer know their country’s history and b) the story they do not know is the greatest political story ever told.

It is not our children’s fault. Our country’s adults are expected to instill a love of country in its children, but the greatness and purpose of that country are mocked by the chattering classes: Newspaper columns and television reports drip with a constant cynicism about America while doubts about her motives on the world stage are the coin of the realm. Too many commentators are too ready to believe the worst about our leaders and our country, and our children’s history books — and even some of the teachers — close off any remaining possibility of helping children learn about their country.

Read the rest here.

We live in a country where we can ignore everything that does not concern us. If we so choose we can fill our heads with air and watch the Paris Hiltons and the Britney Spears of celebrislutty fame. We have become greedy and self serving. We covet what our neighbors have and are willing to file bankruptcy to have the big SUV and the 3000 square foot house and all the fixin's that go along with it. We are willing to rationalize away our greed and trying to get something for free or for a cheaper price because "everyone does it." In doing this we bankrupt our children of the things that matter. Our children are our responsibility and the promise that this country will continue as the beacon of light for the rest of the world.

Dennis Prager, another man I admire a great deal will often ask his callers to his radio program, "If you could only teach your child one lesson which is more important to teach your child- To not smoke or To not cheat on a test?" Time after time it is more important to teach the child to not smoke... Health and safety are more important than raising a child to be an adult of honor, respect, and integrity.

Of late, I've been spending a lot of time with my grandparents, part of the Greatest Generation, and they often say, "It was easier when we had nothing." It's funny, these same people worked hard so that their children would not have to endure what they endured. That cycle continues. We all really want something better for the next generation, but I believe there is something to be said about having to work for it. It is appreciated times ten. There is greater satisfaction in feeling the sense that you have earned it.

On a greater scale, we are willing to work with a nation that has no time for the human condition. We import from China and we KNOW that they handle their people with an iron fist. We know that if you speak against the Chinese government or try to worship in a manner that does not serve the government, you simply disappear.

We can see this same example in third world countries. There are countless charities wanting to feed the starving children of the world. And yes it is awful and horrific. However, they are starving by design. Get rid of the oppressive communist and socialist governments that are keeping their people in ignorance and poverty and you will see an end to starvation.

We the people are a dichotomy. We are in a struggle with ourselves. We are facing an enemy within our own borders that must be neutralized otherwise we can look to the European countries as to what our fate will be. Dependency on the government and socialized anything will eventually destroy this nation and we must rectify this.

At the same time we must fight an enemy that hates us simply because we exist. There is no question in my mind this war must be won despite ourselves. The liberals have said this is a lost cause and now Republicans are getting wobbly. The events in the United Kingdom this past weekend are yet another wake up call to us. WAKE UP!! I want our government to pay attention to the 2nd Amendment. I will maintain my right as an American citizen to keep and bear arms, but I also expect my government to maintain our militia. Give our soldiers what they need to win this war against terror!!

I anticipate as do many others there will be an attempt to stifle our voices. The Fairness Doctrine will be our penance for shutting down the Amnesty Bill. Our soldiers need us to support them, not just by proclaiming, "We support you" but we need to rise up again and make sure that our government does as we ask. Secure our borders and fund our troops so we can win this war. Let them fight this war.

Mine is but a small voice but I will use it to my fullest ability.

So, on Wednesday, take a moment and look at our American flag...

She is indeed a grand old flag... She symbolizes everything that is good in this nation of ours and please....


Tell your child about her... about how our flag IS still there...

Happy Independence Day.

The Star-Spangled Banner

Oh, say can you see by the dawn's early light
What so proudly we hailed at the twilight's last gleaming?
Whose broad stripes and bright stars through the perilous fight,
O'er the ramparts we watched were so gallantly streaming?
And the rocket's red glare, the bombs bursting in air,
Gave proof through the night that our flag was still there.
Oh, say does that star-spangled banner yet wave
O'er the land of the free and the home of the brave?

On the shore, dimly seen through the mists of the deep,
Where the foe's haughty host in dread silence reposes,
What is that which the breeze, o'er the towering steep,
As it fitfully blows, half conceals, half discloses?
Now it catches the gleam of the morning's first beam,
In full glory reflected now shines in the stream:
'Tis the star-spangled banner! Oh long may it wave
O'er the land of the free and the home of the brave!

And where is that band who so vauntingly swore
That the havoc of war and the battle's confusion,
A home and a country should leave us no more!
Their blood has washed out their foul footsteps' pollution.
No refuge could save the hireling and slave
From the terror of flight, or the gloom of the grave:
And the star-spangled banner in triumph doth wave
O'er the land of the free and the home of the brave!

Oh! thus be it ever, when freemen shall stand
Between their loved home and the war's desolation!
Blest with victory and peace, may the heav'n rescued land
Praise the Power that hath made and preserved us a nation.
Then conquer we must, when our cause it is just,
And this be our motto: "In God is our trust."
And the star-spangled banner in triumph shall wave
O'er the land of the free and the home of the brave!
- Francis Scott Key

Have a great week everyone!


HerkEng said...

What a perfect song for today!!

I wish you the best for the 4th of July.

Jedi Master Rob said...

If we don't know the value of what we have why would ever feel the need to protect and preserve it? Great post - disturbing but well done.

Cathy said...

Thanks Herk. Hope you had a wonderful 4th.

Thanks Rob. Inspired by nieces and nephews and yours on the way...